Mission to Seafarers appoints new Management Board for Nigeria


… Chief Sarumi heads Committee, says mission to give succor to seafarers
Head of the Committee for Mission to Seafarers, Chief Adebayo Sarumi(4th from left), Rt. Rev. Humphrey Olumakaiye, Bishop of the Lagos Diocese,Anglican Communion (Middle) in a group photograph with members of the Committee.

A new management board appointed for Nigeria by the International Mission to Seafarers was on Monday inaugurated by the Diocese of Lagos (Anglican Communion).

Headed by a former Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Chief Adebayo Sarumi, the Board was inaugurated by the Rt. Rev. Humphrey Olumakaiye.

Speaking on the essence of the mission, Rev. Olumakaiye said it is aimed at giving the much needed support to seafarers who though may be helping the world get their needs, but often away from home and away from the love and care they need.

He said it remained important for the Church to give both spiritual and physical help to seafarers, making them comfortable as much as possible.

His words: “We believe that we should make life worth living for people outside there, and this is an opportunity for us as a Diocese to do something about their plight even on the sea.

“Some of them are on the sea for weeks, months without anybody. But, we believe that through our mission to the seafarers, we would be able to take the gospel of salvation, apart from taking care of their spiritual needs, we would be able to take care of their physical needs too.

“And that is our mandate as a diocese, making the environment comfortable for them so that they will have the sense of self- belonging that they have people who care for them.”     

The Diocese is also prepared to offer medical care to the seafarers should they have a need for it.

Speaking on the responsibility as Head of the Board, Chief Sarumi said his committee would gladly and readily be providing succor to seafarers, whose work he described as very demanding, yet, with capability of leaving the seafarers lonely and exposed to very many dangers.

“What our committee will be bringing succor to the seafarer. Seafaring, we all know, either by words that have been spoken, things that have been read or by actual experience that it is an extremely traumatic business. Theirs is one profession that is not very palatable.

“We have all heard of what they face at sea; the loneliness, the fears of kidnap, traversing areas of war and the dangers that come from sea. It is not an easy thing. And usually, the nature of their job is such that they stay on board for many months and they don’t see their families, they don’t see anybody they know. They are left lonely in that small cubicle they stay,” Chief Sarumi added.

He noted that beyond providing human services for seafarers, his committee would also need to provide physical structure to give the necessary comfort needed.

“…this is what the mission is all about, to be able to provide that temporary relief for them. Not necessarily what happens at home, but at least, a bit of a touch of home, a little bit of a touch of humanity once again, as opposed to the dreary lives that they are living at sea.”

The group would concern itself with making efforts to address issues of poor welfare, payment of seafarer wages, and using its international connection to reach out to maritime administrations to address seafarers concerns.

Marine engineer and member of the committee, Rev. Emmanuel Ilori, said care by the mission to seafarers would be a great service to those who are already helping humanity.

He said that while the seafarers suffered many challenges including poor welfare; poor pay and conditions of service, the mission would focus on the issues to ensure that seafarers get a deserving life.

“The important thing as we all know is that the seafarers anchor the maritime industry, and the fact that we have come together now using the powers of the various institutions, both local and international to bring focus to the welfare of seafarers, it is just very important because at the heart of the maritime industry is the welfare of seafarers.

“So, we are raising the ante now to make sure that we bring the issue of seafarers’ welfare to the fore, including poor pay, poor conditions of employment, and lack of access to ships. Those are the issues that affect their morale, and without them performing, there is no maritime industry.”

 Ilori, like Sarumi, is thankful to the Lagos Diocese for making seafarers’ welfare an issue of concern and to put together a structure to give the needed support.

The committee members include Rev. Canon Bimbo Aduroja - Chaplain ,Engr. Emmanuel Ilori -Assistant Chaplain, Chief Igho Dafinone - Treasurer, Ms Funmi Folorunsho- Secretary, Dotun Makinde- Ex-Officio, and Engr. Philip Atitebi and Mrs Yetunde Akinpelu-members.